Monday, February 10, 2014

Gambia: National Insurance Commission would be a ‘driving force for growth’



High Table L-R: Momodou Joof-MD Takaful Insurance, Henry Jawo-Retired IAG Secretary General, Almamy B. Jobarteh-Current IAG President, Ebou Bittaye-MD Global Security Insurance  and Dawda Sarge former IAG President (Photo Credit: Lamin Jahateh)

The Insurance Association of The Gambia, IAG, has said it will lobby for the establishment of a National Insurance Commission that would serve as a “driving force for the growth” of the industry.

At its 26th General Assembly held in a local hotel at Kololi on February 8, 2014, the IAG said the proposed Commission would allow it tap into unexploited areas in the insurance market.

“My ambition is to see the gradual growth of the [insurance] industry to enable us tap the unexploited fertile areas in the market,” IAG President Almamy B. Jobarteh said on Saturday.

He said the IAG executive committee is convinced that one robust way of achieving this goal “is to lobby for the establishment of a National Insurance Commission which would be the driving force for the growth of our industry.”

Self-regulation

Mr Jobarteh also said the issue of self-regulation and collaboration especially in the area of “underwriting and claims management” is another important area that the IAG need to look into.

“A code of conduct has been drafted and reviewed by the executive committee to address these concerns,” he said.

The IAG general assembly also discussed building public trust, and one way to do this according to them, is the publication of statistics on claims paid to their clients. 

Henry Jawo, Secretary General of IAG, said the 8th Edition of the Insurance Forum magazine seeks to address the lack of public data on payment of claims by insurance companies.

Almamy B. Jobarteh-IAG President (Photo Credit: Lamin Jahateh)
“It is heartening to note that we have finally been able to obtain statistics on claims settled by member companies after several attempts and these would be published in the magazine for public consumption,” he said.

“This information will in no small measure help in improving public confidence in our industry,” added Mr Jawo who is retiring from the IAG secretariat after 13 years.

Building public trust

Since 2013, the IAG has set in motion a number of reform plans that would address professionalism and ethical practices needed to build public trust and to spur growth and development of the industry.

On insurance awareness week 2013, the IAG said a February 11-16 campaign was meant to eradicate the poor public image of the insurance industry in The Gambia, and seeks to further increase the general public’s understanding of insurance and insurance policies.

“The poor public image of the insurance industry is due to the fact that people do not have much knowledge about insurance,” says Muhammed Jagana, President of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

“Even some of the people who are purportedly knowledgeable on the subject, by being insured, do not read to know the terms and conditions of their policy hence do not know what is covered and what is not,” he added.

Mr Jagana encouraged the IAG to tackle the poor image of the industry by ensuring policyholders become more aware of their rights under the insurance policy. 


Written by Modou S. Joof




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